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Up to 4,000 Fans Set to Return in December
Monday, 23rd Nov 2020 16:13

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that up to 4,000 fans will be able to return to football grounds in areas where the risk of coronavirus is low once the current lockdown ends on December 3rd.

Johnson announced his Covid Winter Plan in the House of Commons this afternoon with MPs set to vote on it later in the week.

Supporters’ return to stadia is to be linked to a three-tier system based on infection rate and other criteria.

Government has been working on a plan which will see clubs in tier one, those with the lowest risk, able to admit up to 4,000 home fans.

In tier two, up to 2,000 will be able to attend, but no supporters will be admitted if their club is in tier three with the greatest risk.

Supporters will be required to keep to social distance protocols and follow guidance aimed at reducing the risk of infection while travelling to games.

It will be announced which areas are in which tier - with the new system tougher than the previous tier scheme - later this week, most likely on Thursday. Prior to lockdown Suffolk was in tier one under the previous system, although close to moving into tier two.

Reports that the Government was planning a December return for supporters first emerged last week.

Fans have been away from grounds since the start of the pandemic in March. In August and September test events were staged at a number of clubs with a view to fans returning in October before being put on hold by the Government as Covid-19 rates rose.

Town had a test event planned for the Rochdale game at the end of September which was abandoned only days before it was due to take place.

The Blues have a little under 9,000 season ticket holders so fewer than half will be able to go to games even at the tier one limit.

In September, the club outlined their plans for the return of a limited number of supporters with a ballot set to be used to decide which games season ticket holders will be able to attend.

Town's first home game after the end of the lockdown is the visit by Portsmouth on Saturday 12th December.

Photo: Action Images

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brendenward35 added 16:26 - Nov 23
Boris and co will change their minds by the weekend so I wouldn't book your train tickets

Bergholt_Blue added 16:27 - Nov 23
This ballot system isn't going to work out (waits for meltdown)

Durovigutum added 16:43 - Nov 23
4,000 or 50% of capacity? 30k capacity=15k fans?

cressi added 16:50 - Nov 23
Surely a percentage not 4000 some grounds hardly hold that lol

Durovigutum added 16:54 - Nov 23
Answered my own question - the lower of 50% capacity or 4k. Shame.

Suffolkboy added 17:23 - Nov 23
We desperately need a swell of opinion to shake our politicians to their roots : they’re stuck in a rut of negativity .
IF limits are to be initiated, then at least there’s an equal need for guaranteed review , no dodging ,and a transparent method which will see upward trajectory just as possible as enhanced restriction !
Most of our politicians do not , and have never lived the lives we mortals enjoy ,and a dose of outright reality and proper sense of purpose and a ‘ can do ‘ attitude is long long overdue !
But COYB , you can overcome !

DebsyAngel added 17:26 - Nov 23
Sorry but I will not be going back until things are more safe. I hope EFL/I Follow will still allow others who feel like me to still watch online. I miss going to the ground as much as anyone but cannot risk my health.

PSGBlue added 17:37 - Nov 23
Wonder if it will be season ticket holders divided by 4000 tickets, I.e 1 match in 3. Will there also be restrictions of travel? Will fans be allowed to come from a higher tier or will there be a restriction of a 40 mile radius for example. Will these restrictions stay in place until a mass vaccine. A lot of questions still to be answered!

CokeIsKey added 17:50 - Nov 23
Mainly good in the sense that fans can express their frustrations if we continue to play badly and might accelerate the sacking of Scambert.

fredbarber added 17:51 - Nov 23
I think club need to have a look the location of season ticket holders

To limit travel from further afield, season ticket holders within The Ipswich area should be offered first as they could walk to the ground or drive, then the club should look at surrounding towns and villages stowmarket and Felixstowe for example as the next lot of season ticket holders to possibly attend a game.

A bit unfair on fans that live further away but I think fans coming from different areas where infection rates could be higher isn’t a great idea.
Plus when you factor in the use of transport to get to the ground where this could be train or bus etc

For balance I live on outskirts so would class myself in the second category but it may be worth the club looking at this for impact on the local health services if there is a spike in infections

Edmundo added 18:05 - Nov 23
Sounds like a sensible start: let's face it, they've been letting indoor stuff happen, and football is one of the few outdoor leisure pursuits that many people choose to do in winter time. I won't hold my breath though: Imballance and Sir Chris Witless will probably find another 3 week old chart that proves we can't do it.

Saxonblue74 added 18:14 - Nov 23
Cokelskey, fans are there to support their team and hopefully create a home advantage, not create a toxic atmosphere for a team near the top of the table! Personally think we're getting closer to beating this thing by the day and would be better to wait, but respect others opinions on this incredibly devisive subject. Surely it's not viable financially for a club the size of ours to host a match for 4k spectators?

Cakeman added 18:15 - Nov 23
I know the owner and club have received a lot of stick over the past few years but I don’t envy Mr Evans and Co with trying to please people with this one!

jas0999 added 19:11 - Nov 23
Great news!

ArnieM added 19:33 - Nov 23
Strongly suspect Suffolk will be in tier two by Thursday’ s announcement of the new tiers, so guess that’ll only be 2k at PR.

Daniel72 added 20:01 - Nov 23
If there ever was a pandemic it is surely over now.. people still went to football during the 2017-8 'flu season.. this is ridiculous.. I wish more people watched real news services such as UK Column.

grumpyoldman added 20:38 - Nov 23
Daniel72, they have a vaccine now for COVID pity nobody has a vaccine for your stupidity. Share your thoughts about not a pandemic with relatives of those who have died.

Blue_Again added 20:48 - Nov 23
This is what totalitarian government looks like. Next they’ll be telling us when we are allowed or not allowed to take a sh1t

whymarkwhynot added 22:03 - Nov 23
@grumpyoldman The only stupidity would be believing that a vaccine has been created this quickly, normally it would take at least 6 years. If you didn’t watch the news you wouldn’t believe there is a pandemic!

alfromcol added 22:49 - Nov 23
fredbarber you could get a job in Government, with complicated ideas like that!!

NorthLondonBlue2 added 23:29 - Nov 23
Great news! The outdoor spread of the virus is minimal, so this is pretty safe.

Also, I hope we continue with the £10 video match pass for the season regardless.


Bert added 04:55 - Nov 24
For those who believe that there is no virus or no need for a vaccination, no doubt they will be happy to be excluded when airlines, events etc require a vaccination certificate to allow travel or entry. In the meantime, if fans are allowed back into stadiums in small numbers let’s hope they act responsibly and respect the rules for the sake of everyone’s health.

grumpyoldman added 09:44 - Nov 24
Whymarkwhynot, using the knowledge gained in creating vaccines in the past can shorten the time taken to prepare new one. Logically what would be gained by releasing a vaccine that did not work? People would relax infections would increase deaths would rise, causing an even deeper recession maintaining a downward spiral for decades.

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